If you have any News or Events you would like to share with the Network please
Welcome to new Places
Posted: Wednesday 24th March 2021, 11:43 PM
In spite of lockdown, we are still welcoming new Places to the Network, though they may not actually be accessible at this moment (please check locally). A first for the Network is a Place in the Isle of Man, Agneash Chapel; also St Mary's Churchyard and Church in Kettlewell, North Yorkshire with a labyrinth in the churchyard, and St Mawgan-in Meneage near Helston in Cornwall.
Posted: Wednesday 17th February 2021, 4:50 PM
Once again Ali Green is posting short thoughts and meditations on our Facebook page, this time to take us through Lent. Accompanied by pictures from her journeying around Small Pilgrim Places and the occasional short video clip, these are worth a look. Again many thanks to Ali for bringing the Places to us when we are unable to go to them.
A New Year
Posted: Friday 1st January 2021, 3:33 PM
We look forward to better times for everyone in 2021, although there is still much uncertainty. Please check before visiting any of our Places as some are open if only for limited times. A members' newsletter is going out very shortly, and there are plans afoot for strengthening and developing the Network - more about this later in the New Year. Meanwhile we wish everyone peace and good health, and hope that you can find those still and simple places which are important in these trying times, whether you are able to find an actual Place, or just a small corner in your own home or locality.
Light in the Darkness
Posted: Thursday 17th December 2020, 10:09 AM
These are trying times for everyone as rules change and there is general uncertainty. More than ever we need quiet spaces - whether within or without. Ali Green is again posting on Facebook, this time for every day in Advent with a Bible quote and an image of a "Contemplative corner” in a SPP, one for each day.
Posted: Monday 5th October 2020, 1:11 PM
Check out our Facebook Page - Ali Green has been posting daily for Creation season. As you can imagine, we have cancelled our National Gathering which was scheduled for Birmingham later this month as with various extra local lockdown restrictions across the UK it would be impossible to have a proper meeting. We hope to send out a newsletter very shortly with news of things that we are doing, and some of our Places are now opening on a restricted basis - check locally for details.
Opening of churches etc
Posted: Tuesday 14th July 2020, 2:39 PM
The situation is changing rapidly, so please check the local details if you are thinking of visiting one of our Places. Not everywhere will be open, and opening times will often be more limited than normal. Services may take place, but in all cases this is dependent upon the ability to keep staff and visitors safe, and to implement the strict guidelines regarding sanitising and social distancing etc.
SPP on the television
Posted: Saturday 6th June 2020, 10:54 AM
One of our SPPs - the little church on the mountain Llanfihangel Rhos-y-Corn in Carmarthenshire - features in S4C's Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol (Start Singing, Start Praising) at 10.30 am on Sunday 7th June. It has English sub titles for the interview spots which includes John the Church Warden talking about the Labyrinth and Beryl Edwards in the church. You can also find it on Sky 134, Freesat 120, or it will be available on S4C Clic afterwards.
May 2020 Newsletter
Posted: Sunday 10th May 2020, 3:42 PM
Instead of our usual spring mailing of leaflets etc we have sent out a newsletter and were pleased to have responses from network members. One - currently locked down in New Zealand - sent a meditation, and another reported that she is ringing the solitary bidding bell at St Mary's Throwleigh on a Thursday evening to honour key workers. (She started by ringing it 8 times at 8 pm, increasing the number each week so that this Thursday it was 56 rings!) We have also been sent information about Daily Hope, a phone line which offers music, prayers reflections and services, particularly useful for those not on the internet, and also the National Churches Trust are seeking information about how churches are coping during lockdown. Further details in Recent Additions together with other recent Facebook posts.
More recent additions
Posted: Monday 27th April 2020, 11:29 AM
The "Recent Additions" section is now up and running, and is showing recent posts from Facebook. We hope these will be helpful in these extraordinary times.
New material available
Posted: Tuesday 31st March 2020, 2:42 PM
During this time we will be making any new material added to the site available through the "Recent Additions" link on the menu bar. The first thing added is the Meditation on the Closing of Churches.
On the Closing of Churches
Posted: Saturday 28th March 2020, 11:11 AM
With everything closed, here is a Meditation on the Closing of Churches (published in the Church of England Newspaper) by Gilo, the Co-Editor of Letters to a Broken Church. It is also available through the Inspiration section of the Links on our Menu bar. Churches may be glad of the stillness. These great stone ships seldom have the chance to hunker down into replenishing silence. Christianity is too talkative. Noisy religion. The Society for Standing Up and Sitting Down Again. The Society for Annunciation of a Momentary Silence. You see your empty church and see shipwreck And think that because you are not there in linen robes with rehearsals of creeds, that prayer is not there. But your churches and temples are not empty. Silence is there. Praying in her many houses. Clergy nor creed nor any religion own Her. Stillness beyond all religion, Yet deeply at its core, Even while you fill temples with the clatter of words. Let Silence be the guardian and keeper of these stone vessels. She who keeps the stillness on the oceanâ€™s floor Who tends the cave where no noise echoes because no noise enters Hers is the aching heart that hides ancient atomic groan And her home, the rest between the beats in every heartbeat Look out to the stars beyond the stars and listen Listen to Her listening to the listening of your own. Go within and find Her in the hush. In the breath of alleluia in the night In the inhalation of hope before waking Hers is the softness between the breath. And the hidden quiet light that lingers at a death. Do not fret about your empty church. Silence holds the space holy And always did. She holds all things and mourns all things She is in all things She holds every story but her own. She knows each name, with no need to know her own Let Silence guard the stillness and the stones. While you care for the bereaved and those full of fear That is your creaturely task. The task of all who call each to be priest to each and every other. And when the great keys are turned, the wooden doors re-open, Tread gently. Do not rush to fill the stillness. The great stone ships held their prayer for you. They bade the Absolute to enter in. They prayed with you. Honour them with silence of your own.
Posted: Tuesday 24th March 2020, 7:51 PM
Sadly the latest government instructions mean that it will no longer be possible to visit any Small Pilgrim Places until further notice. There are lots of spiritual resources available on the internet, so we hope that we may all be able to find ways to calm the spirit and find strength and comfort during this time of crisis and physical isolation.
August 2019 gathering
Posted: Monday 11th November 2019, 11:56 AM
At the August meeting we shared thoughts and feelings about the Network and the pilgrim journey, both internal and external. The report on the meeting is now being sent to members and is also available in the Members' Area under Latest SPPN AGM. We developed six questions which we used with the members who joined us for the third session - the wealth of information gained from just a few people proved to us that it is vital that all members have the opportunity to contribute to this process of reflection and discernment for SPPN, and so the questions are attached to the report and all members are asked to complete and participate in this process of reflection and discernment for SPPN.
Posted: Thursday 17th October 2019, 11:58 PM
Welcome to the latest Place to join the Network - St Andrew's Church in Oddington in Oxfordshire. Designated a 'Pilgrim Church', it is part of a local initiative to develop pilgrim routes between churches in the area. It welcomes all visitors of course, including many who come from New Zealand to pay homage at the grave of Maggie Papakura, beloved Maori Princess, and the memorial to Maoris killed in the First World War. Also, Ali Green has been on her travels again and her latest journal entries are posted on the Inspirations section of the Members' Area.
Posted: Wednesday 28th August 2019, 3:35 PM
Welcome to St Hilda's Church in Lucker, Northumberland - the latest Place to join the Network. It joins the cluster of Places in the North East and has the distinction of being the most Northerly of our Places at the moment!
Taking stock and looking forward
Posted: Monday 5th August 2019, 3:48 PM
The gathering in Birmingham at the beginning of August proved very fruitful in terms of ideas and shared experience. A report will be produced in due course. Woodthorpe was a great venue, with lovely gardens with woods, a labyrinth and a lake. Another Quaker venue - Peterborough - is holding a Garden Pilgrimage on 31st August. See the Peterborough entry under Places to Visit for details.
Posted: Sunday 7th July 2019, 11:34 PM
The Network's summer newsletter has just gone out to members. We are thinking about the future at a time of growing interest in the idea of pilgrimage, and about pilgrim journeying both internal and external. No traditional National Gathering, but a meeting at the beginning of August in Birmingham for an in-depth look at the Network, with an opportunity for members to join in and contribute. We hope to be joined by someone from our newest Place, St Michael's Church, Hall Green, Birmingham, as well as other members who are within easy reach. Contact us if you wish to be present or have any thoughts you would like to share.
A different Place
Posted: Thursday 27th June 2019, 4:14 PM
Ali Green has been on her travels again, and this time visited Hawkwood Woodland Sanctuary, a different sort of Place near Stroud in Gloucestershire. Neither a church nor a garden, this room deep in woodland is an inviting quiet space for stillness and contemplation. Her journal entry (no 17) is on the Members' Area, and there are some pictures in the Gallery.
Welcome Brent Tor and North Brentor
Posted: Sunday 2nd June 2019, 7:57 PM
Welcome to two new Places which have joined the Network, St Michael de Rupe Brent Tor and Christ church North Brentor. These two churches are in the same parish and a pilgrimage route is planned which will extend from Saint Michael de Rupe to St Michael's at Chagford. St Michael de Rupe is set on the summit of a steep sided natural rock and can be seen from a great distance in every direction, drawing the curious to take a closer look, and affording outstanding views of Dartmoor, the Tamar Valley, Bodmin Moor and Mid Devon.
New photographs in the Gallery
Posted: Friday 17th May 2019, 4:55 PM
Just in from St Mary the Virgin, North Stoke in Sussex, some lovely photographs taken by Wendy Eve of textile artist Belinda Scarlett's new altar frontal. Also a photograph of the new labyrinth at Point in View, Exmouth. Have you looked at the Gallery lately? There are lots of photos from all the Places.
Posted: Sunday 5th May 2019, 4:24 PM
You may not be thinking about Advent yet - but Ali Green is organising a mini-retreat from Monday 2nd to Wednesday December 4th 2019 at Michaelgarth Guesthouse, Tymawr, near Chepstow. There will be opportunities for private reflection and times for gathering, listening, and eating together. For further details or an application form please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: Thursday 25th April 2019, 4:51 PM
HOLY TRINITY, MELBECKS, in Yorkshire, is taking part in a parish-wide open day with self-guided walks between four churches on Saturday 4 May. Find out about four very different churches in the parish of Swaledale with Arkengarthdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. At St Andrew’s, Grinton, Holy Trinity, Melbeck in Low Row, St Mary’s, Arkengarthdale or St Mary’s, Muker there will be refreshments and people to show you the more interesting bits of the buildings. A walk leaflet will guide you to the next church - and if you need transport back to your starting church that can be sorted out for you. If making a day of it there are local hostelries for a more substantial meal. Churches open 10am to 4pm. Everyone welcome – Dales residents, visitors, holiday-makers, walkers (boots and waterproofs definitely needed), non-walkers, bikers and car drivers. Any questions? Please ring Elizabeth or Andrew Bedford on 01748 886974 or email email@example.com. or see the parish website www.swaledalearkengarthdaleparish.org.uk
Up to Date!
Posted: Monday 8th April 2019, 11:00 AM
The map and information about the Places - now 62 of them - has been fully updated ready for the new season. The updated handbook, leaflets and cycle of prayer have been uploaded to the Members' Area and will be mailed out to members over the next couple of weeks.
Comings and Goings
Posted: Monday 1st April 2019, 4:52 PM
We are just completing the new information for 2019. Sadly we have said goodbye to St Mihangel on Anglesey for the time being, but welcome another St Mihangel - this time from Llanfihangel Rhos-y-Corn in Carmarthenshire. We hope to have leaflets and the new handbook out fairly soon, but as the Network of Places grows the task gets bigger and takes longer. Not a bad problem to have, but we hope you will bear with us. We will be updating the website information so that will be up to date as soon as possible.
Posted: Sunday 3rd February 2019, 4:24 PM
We are gathering information for 2019 from the Places in the Network and will be updating the website shortly. In the meantime, welcome to another new Place - Thornborough Methodist Church Garden, in Buckinghamshire.
New Year news
Posted: Saturday 5th January 2019, 10:25 AM
New year - new places, new journeys, new adventures. Welcome to St Mary's Church Sticklepath, on the edge of Dartmoor and joining the little cluster of SPPs there - well worth spending time in that beautiful part of Devon. Also just loaded into the Members' Area are parts 15 and 16 of Ali Green's Pilgrimage journal - this time travels in Kent back in the summer. Ali is again organising a retreat on Lundy Island in September - contact us for details or see Members' Area (Inspiration - Miscellaneous section).
The National Gathering
Posted: Wednesday 24th October 2018, 3:15 PM
"I would love to live like a river flows carried by the surprise." (John O'Donohue) In spite of the best efforts of Storm Callum, most of us made it to Bradford-on-Avon last weekend for the National Gathering and AGM. In the wonderful surroundings of Holy Trinity we gathered for quiet time, to listen to our speaker Richard Dealler, to share lunch and to talk and discuss our various experiences and expectations of being part of the Network. Richard talked about setting up the Mary and Michael Pilgrims Way in Cornwall, about the importance of connections that point us back towards the wholeness which becomes ever more difficult to find in this fragmented world, and the tradition of hospitality along the way which in some ways we have lost in this country. Next year in the West Midlands?
The Burning Bush Barn
Posted: Monday 20th August 2018, 4:38 PM
Sadly, Burning Bush Barn as a project is closing at the end of August 2018, prior to the retirement of Wendy Shaw, the Curator. The Diocese of Norwich has yet to announce what will happen in the future and how the building might be used although it is hoped that the art and spirituality work will continue in the Diocese in some way.
A pilgrim's travels
Posted: Saturday 4th August 2018, 7:13 PM
Ali Green has been on her travels again, this time in the Welsh borders and in Cornwall. Entries 13 and 14 are in the Members' Area of the website, and there is also a brief note and some photos on our Facebook page.
Posted: Monday 4th June 2018, 9:19 PM
Welcome to our first Place in Greater London - All Saints Church Hackbridge and Beddington Corner (Mitcham, Surrey). Also the details of the 2018 National Gathering on Saturday 13th October are now available. It will be from 10 am to 4 pm at Holy Trinity Church, Bradford-on Avon BA15 1LW. The speaker (at about 11 am) will be Richard Dealler, who provided the inspiration for the Mary Michael Pilgrims Way, a walking pilgrim route across England from West Cornwall to Norfolk. There will also be the opportunity to visit the two SPPs in Bradford on Avon. All are welcome for all or part of the day. Contact us for any further information.
More new members and another Place
Posted: Thursday 26th April 2018, 1:07 PM
This has been a busy month! Welcome to more new members, and also to the Burning Bush Barn Contemplative Art Space in Rockland St Mary, Norfolk. This is a contemplative art space set in a rural village 6 miles south of Norwich City centre, and is open to all who wish to develop spiritual growth through creative visual art.
New - a Place and members
Posted: Sunday 22nd April 2018, 8:37 PM
Welcome to St Andrew, Aycliffe, near Darlington, which has joined our cluster of Places in the North East. Also welcome to several new members who have joined as a result of an inspirational Twitter feed about journeying to St Margaret's Wychling. Check our Facebook page for the link.
Posted: Saturday 7th April 2018, 6:20 PM
The Spring mailing has now gone out to all Network members, including 2018 leaflets,updated handbook, bookmarks and the prayer cycle. Most of these are also available in the Members' Area of the website. We would welcome any feedback on these documents, especially ways in which we can make them more useful.
New member and new handbook
Posted: Sunday 11th March 2018, 5:24 PM
St Margaret Wychling (Kent) has followed hot on the heels of St James Clapton on the Hill (Cheltenham) and St John the Baptist North Baddesley (Southampton) in joining the Network. The 2018 Handbook is at the printers, and a copy is available on the Members' Area of the website, as are the new leaflet and Cycle of Prayer (in SPPN section). We hope to mail everything out to members before Easter.
Posted: Tuesday 27th February 2018, 12:50 PM
Two new Places have recently been added to the Network - St James Clapton on the Hill (Cheltenham) and St John the Baptist North Baddesley (Southampton). There are others in the pipeline, but meanwhile the 2018 leaflet and Cycle of Prayer have gone to the printers and the Handbook should not be far behind. Up to date versions will be put up in the Members' Area as soon as they are available.
New Year News
Posted: Thursday 4th January 2018, 10:57 AM
Welcome to new Small Pilgrim Place St Mary's Felpersham in Bedfordshire. Not "Small" at first glance, the first impression inside is of space and light and it is an impressive sight, with the nave lined with pillars and arches and the central tower supported on four, finely moulded columns. The 15th century rood screen is the most decorative permanent feature in an otherwise simply decorated interior. It draws the eye through into the chancel where there are chairs for those who wish to pray quietly in an atmosphere of tranquility and peacefulness. On the south side, there is a memorial chapel with a small votive stand for anyone wishing to light a candle.
Welcome to another new Place
Posted: Wednesday 20th December 2017, 8:18 PM
We are very pleased to welcome St Mary's Church, Felmersham (in Bedfordshire) to the Network. It may not be as small as some, but is well worth a visit and has an atmosphere of tranquility and peacefulness. We wish you all a peaceful and blessed Christmas.
Let there be peace
Posted: Sunday 12th November 2017, 4:49 PM
Appropriately on Remembrance Sunday the SPP at Abergavenny recently sent us a poem "Let there be peace" by Lemn Sissay spoken at Abergavenny Friends gathering on International Peace Day. It is in the Inspiration section of our Members' Area or can easily be found by Googling, or use the weblink http://blog.lemnsissay.com/2012/03/23/let-there-be-peace/#sthash.jaOE1EV2.dpbs
Short Pilgrimages to Small Pilgrim Places
Posted: Monday 6th November 2017, 3:20 PM
We have received the latest episode from Ali Green's journal of her journeying around Small Pilgrim Places. She completed her year's pilgrimage (though has not necessarily finished visiting SPPs!) by visiting Little Gidding and the Quaker Meeting House and Quiet Garden in Peterborough, returning the next day to talk to the National Gathering about her experiences. It has been a privilege to share in her travels and we are very grateful to her for showing us how a simple journey can be so meaningful.
Peterborough and beyond
Posted: Wednesday 25th October 2017, 9:51 AM
We had a lovely National Gathering as guests of the Peterborough Quakers. We met other members of the network, shared experiences, and looked to the future. Ali Green inspired us as we journeyed with her pilgrimage around Small Pilgrim Places. There are some photos in the Gallery and fuller reports will be posted on the Members' Area in due course. Meanwhile, Ali leads a Solstice Pilgrimage to Lundy Island off the North Devon coast, and there is one double room left for 2018 (June 19-22). They stay in Millcombe House, a Landmark Trust property, for a time of reflection, quiet, eating together, and enjoying nature. If you are interested please contact us and we can put you in touch.
Facebook page and a suggested Autumn break in the NE
Posted: Wednesday 11th October 2017, 9:34 AM
Facebook users - don't forget to look at - and Like and Share - our Facebook page, where you will find thoughts, pictures, news, events and comments about the Network, the Places, and other aspects of the pilgrim journey through life. Recently Sylvia, our North East regional link, posted: My first year as NE Regional Link, visiting great places in great landscapes, was celebrated this week by the "Spirit of Place" room in the Paul Nash exhibition at the Laing gallery, Newcastle. Particular locations such as the Wittenham clumps in Oxfordshire took on great significance for him, and Nash did many studies of the rough meadow gardens in his family home in Buckinghamshire. This is a big exhibition taking 3 rooms. Have an Autumn break, "up north" - "Northern Spirit" is a permanent exhibition, Paul Nash is on till Jan 14th, and visit some NE SPPlaces.
Short Pilgrimages to Small Pilgrim Places
Posted: Monday 18th September 2017, 3:02 PM
Ali Green has been travelling again, this time to visit two of our SPPs in Essex. Instalment number 11 of her journal is now up in the Members' Area. She will share her experiences in her talk "A Rosary of Sacred Spaces: Reflections on Short Pilgrimages to Small Pilgrim Places" at the National Gathering in Peterborough on 21st October. All welcome. Contact us for details.
Celebrating at The Pales
Posted: Friday 8th September 2017, 9:54 AM
The Pales, Llandegley, is a Historic Quaker Meeting House built in 1717. It is of great emotional and spiritual significance to many both within and without the Quaker community. To celebrate its Tricentennial there are special events, particularly from 11th - 16th September. These include a Walk and Talk, an Art Day, A History Day, an Open Day and a Peace Choir Concert. Full details on their website http://thepales.org.uk STOP PRESS! Check out our newest SPP - The Chapel of Our Lady of the Crag, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
Ali Green has been travelling again
Posted: Saturday 26th August 2017, 4:01 PM
We have just received the latest instalment of Ali Green's journal, this time her visit to Knight's Enham and South Stoneham in Hampshire and Southampton. She will be speaking on her reflections on "Short Pilgrimages to Small Pilgrim Places" at the National Gathering on Saturday 21 October (10.30 am to 4.00 pm) at Peterborough Quakers, 21 Thorpe Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE3 6AB. Pilgrim Places. All are welcome to all or part of the day (talk at 11.40 am), Bring and share lunch. Email us to book or for further details (use Contact Us link on the menu).
Summer Newsletter and National Gathering
Posted: Thursday 3rd August 2017, 4:23 PM
The Summer newsletter has now gone out to members. We have welcomed a lot of new members in the last few months, and have also been working extensively on this website with re-ordering and additional material. Do explore it! The main event coming up is the National Gathering on Saturday 21 October (10.30 am to 4.00 pm) at Peterborough Quakers, 21 Thorpe Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE3 6AB. Ali Green will speak on her reflections on Short Pilgrimages to Small Pilgrim Places. All are welcome to all or part of the day (talk at 11.40 am), Bring and share lunch. Email us to book or for further details (use Contact Us link on the menu).
More Pilgrim travels
Posted: Thursday 20th July 2017, 4:02 PM
We have just received the ninth instalment of Ali Green's Pilgrimage Journal. This time she visited the SPPs at West Wycombe and West Challow. As usual she has sent photos as well. (Find it the Talks and Articles about SPPN part of the Small Pilgrim Places Network section of documents in the Members' Area.) Remember that she will be talking about her journeying at the National Gathering in Peterborough on 21st October.
Ali Green's travels
Posted: Sunday 16th July 2017, 4:52 PM
Ali Green has been on her travels again and the eighth instalment of her Pilgrimage Journal can be found in the Members' Area - this time a cycle trip to Bradford on Avon, Bath and Bristol,including a ride along the river, a steam engine and a quiet garden. (Her journal is in the Talks and Articles about SPPN sub-section of the Small Pilgrim Places Network section of the Network Documents).
Posted: Tuesday 6th June 2017, 7:02 PM
We have now re-ordered the Links and Network Documents sections of the website with sub-categories so that it should be easier to find the sort of material you are looking for e.g. Inspiration, Creating and Maintaining a SPP, and several other sections. We will be adding quite a lot of material so do keep an eye on it! Also don't forget to look at other News items which are still current.
Additions to the website
Posted: Saturday 27th May 2017, 3:27 PM
We are shortly going to re-organise the Members' Area documents so that it is easier to find what you are looking for. In the meantime we have added various things to the Inspiration section - two book reviews, a piece about silence from Norwich, and Ali Green's latest instalment of her pilgrimage journal. A new entry in the Links section is St Anthony's Priory Durham, where you can find details of their Summer programme and general facilities. We have also heard from Aberdaron that the R.S.Thomas Festival is pretty much sold out, but have the dates for 2018! (See Links section). St Mary the Virgin North Stoke is once again hosting a dramatic presentation in July - details on their entry in the Places to Visit section.
Posted: Tuesday 2nd May 2017, 4:00 PM
Ali Green has sent us the latest episode of her journeying around Small Pilgrim Places - this time visiting the Hedd Wen Peace Place in Llanfoist, Abergavenny. (Her journal entries can be found in the Inspiration section of the Members' Area.) We look forward to hearing her speak about the whole experience at our National Gathering on 21st October 2017 in Peterborough.
Posted: Sunday 16th April 2017, 10:26 AM
May we wish you all a happy and blessed Easter. The spring mailing went out during Holy Week, with the 2017 Handbook, Annual Meeting information,leaflets etc. We hope all members have received it, and remind you that the documents are also available on the Members' Area of this website. The National Gathering and AGM is being held in Peterborough this year on Saturday 21st October. A new link in our Links section - the North Wales Pilgrim's Way - the annual pilgrimage to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) takes place 27 May - 9 June.
Latest information from SPPN
Posted: Thursday 30th March 2017, 3:04 PM
The 2017 Handbook and leaflets are now at the printers and hard copies will be included in the mailing to members which should go out before Easter. Meanwhile copies are in the "Latest SPPN Materials" section of the Members' Area of the website, and non-members can request copies by email. Do take the time to look at the Handbook, it expands on the website information about the ethos and practicalities of a Small Pilgrim Place. Details of the 2017 National Gathering and AGM (21st October in Peterborough) will also be available as soon as they are finalised.
News in early March
Posted: Friday 10th March 2017, 9:34 PM
We are pleased to welcome St Mary the Virgin, Throwleigh (Devon) to the Network this month. Sadly the Fenland Hermitage and Minsteracres Chruch and Peace Garden have withdrawn from the Network for various reasons, but we still have over 50 Places in our listing. Ali Green has been on her travels again, this time to Stratford-sub-castle, and the 5th instalment of her pilgrimage journal can be found in the Members' Area.
Posted: Monday 20th February 2017, 10:46 AM
Preparation of the 2017 handbook can hardly keep up! Another new Place is the Well Centre for Spirituality in Westbury on Trym, to add to the four already welcomed this month - The Labyrinth near Looe in Cornwall, the Holy Well and Church at All Saints Burton Dassett in Warwickshire, All Saints Waterden in Norfolk, and the Old Schoolhouse and Chapel of St Raphael Huccaby in Devon. It is very encouraging that the vision of the Network is spreading in this way. Remember that we always welcome feedback from any visitors to our Places as we strive to improve the experience.
Posted: Saturday 14th January 2017, 6:49 PM
Two members of the Network have sent items which we have put up on the Members' Area in the Inspiration section. Ali Green has sent another instalment of her Pilgrimage Journal, this time a wintry visit to Netherbury. Liz Mellor, who is an artist who has found inspiration in the coastal pilgrim paths and spiritual spaces of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, writes about art as part of the sacred environment. (Jim Cotter often had artwork as part of the Llandecwyn experience). Liz currently has an exhibition with Diana Baur "To Frame or not to Frame" at the Visitors Centre next to St Oswald's Church in Oswestry, running til 26th February (Mondays to Saturdays, 10-4 pm). More information on borderlandvisualarts.com.
Posted: Sunday 4th December 2016, 6:39 PM
One of our members, Ali Green from Bradford on Avon, is travelling round many of our Small Pilgrim Places on her bicycle whenever time allows. Her journal of her pilgrimage is available in the Members' Area. We are please to say that she will be the speaker at our 2017 National Gathering, in Peterborough on 21st October 2017. At the 2016 National Gathering in Abergavenny last October we welcomed another pilgrim - Andy Delmege - who has been on a walking pilgrimage round Wales on the Cistercian Way. (Click the News link for more on the meeting).
Posted: Monday 7th November 2016, 10:45 AM
We had a really good day at the National Gathering at Hedd Wen, Abergavenny. We were made very welcome, and it was good to meet other members and friends from the Network. Esther de Waal's inspiring talk was entitled “The Garden of the heart - a place to be alone with God“. She spoke of the importance of the sense of interior space, something known and acknowledged across the world, across religions, through the ages - the need for an inner space. It is there in the monastery - the cloister round the enclosed central (often green) breathing space; in the roman house, the mosque, the temple, the farmstead - sometimes even in the shopping centre. And there in the breathing space so often will be a fountain. A poem from Bonnie Thurston - "At the monastic centre is always a cloister, an orchestrated emptiness, a place of light a fountain to feed the heart’s garden. Give me this life: a centre empty of all but light, the stillness of Eden before fruit was plucked, my heart a spring of living water."
News in August
Posted: Wednesday 3rd August 2016, 11:02 AM
We welcome St. Laurence, West Challow, Wantage to the Network. The summer newsletter will be out soon, and we will also send members a handbook update. The SPPN leaflet has been translated into Welsh and is being used to publicise the Network at the National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny. Details of the National Gathering (also in Abergavenny) on 15th October can be found by clicking on the "More News" link below.
News in July
Posted: Monday 18th July 2016, 7:41 PM
We welcome St. Andrew, Winston, Darlington to the Network, adding another to the cluster of Places in County Durham. Also we have had the SPPN leaflet translated into Welsh and hope to use them to publicise the Network at the National Eisteddfod at the beginning of August. Details of the National Gathering in Abergavenny on 15th October can be found by clicking on the "News" link above left.
News from Small Pilgrim Places
Posted: Monday 13th June 2016, 9:49 AM
We welcome another new Place to the Network, St Eadburgha, Ebrington, near Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire. Details of this Place and also St Mary, Billingsley, Bridgnorth are here on the website, and also in the updated versions of documents in the Members' Area. We hear about special activities such as the URBAN PILGRIMAGE on 18th June with the Peterborough Quakers; the HIDDEN HERITAGE Walk in Durham on 2nd July, and the JULIAN OF NORWICH FESTIVAL at St Mary's North Stoke at the end of July.(Contact the hospitallers for details). Also in the mailing were details about the SPPN 2016 NATIONAL GATHERING AND AGM which will be held at Hedd Wen Peace Place Small Pilgrim Place, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire on Saturday October 15th.
New Year News
Posted: Monday 4th January 2016, 6:36 PM
The 2016 National Gathering and AGM will be held at Hedd Wen Peace Place Small Pilgrim Place, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire on Saturday October 15th. Details follow in due course, but please book the date now. The December newsletter also included information about plans to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the death of Julian of Norwich at St Mary's North Stoke in Sussex, news of the new SPPN bookmark, and two contributions from members - one thinking about the place of the quiet pilgrim in today’s wider church, and the other a collection of feedback about the spiritual value of being part of a Small Pilgrim Place.
Good News from Llandecwyn
Posted: Tuesday 14th April 2015, 5:32 PM
St Tecwyn's church is once more open to visitors. It is good to know that the threads of Jim Cotter's ministry are being picked up once again in Llandecwyn, the first of the Small Pilgrim Places. Further details are on the Llandecwyn entry in "Places to Visit" section of this website.
Children's Photo Art Trail
Posted: Sunday 14th September 2014, 9:10 PM
St. Laurence Church,Hallgarth, Pittington (www.saint-laurence.org.uk) has set up a PHOTO ART TRAIL for Children. ST. LAURENCE’S 10th century church is full of pictures, stories, patterns and shapes, in stone, wood and glass. It can make a family visit - there are refreshments to enjoy along with the activities. The trail encourages children to get the BIG picture from the SMALL details, TEST their observation, SEARCH for details, DRAW and DESIGN, and THINK BIG with some puzzling objects For more information or to make a group booking, please contact Dave Arnott: 0191 372 1683 or Sylvia Hope: 0191 372 1190
Etched by Silence - A Pilgrimage Through the Poetry of R. S. Thomas
Posted: Sunday 25th August 2013, 7:30 PM
Canterbury Press (www.canterburypress.co.uk) have published a new edition of Jim Cotter’s compilation of poems by Wales' famous poet-priest, R S Thomas, interspersed with short reflections and questions for exploration that connect the poetry to the North Wales landscape that inspired it. Originally produced locally, its appeal extends to all who know and love the poetry, and whose own faith and questions are mirrored in it. The book brings the poetry alive in a fresh way and provides a pilgrim guide to the locality, along with reflections that enable readers everywhere to enter more deeply into the world of the poems. The companion DVD is also still available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All royalties will continue to go to maintaining the church at Aberdaron (which is one of our Small Pilgrim Places).
Church bell rings out at Shopping Centre
Posted: Wednesday 9th January 2013, 1:43 PM
“Church bell to ring out at shopping centre” – one of our Places made the headlines as its bell, cast by Exeter's Robert Norton during the reign of Henry VI, was restored following a donation from the city's Guildhall shopping centre, in which the church sits. Andrew McNeilly, manager of the shopping centre, said: "The church is an important part of what makes us unique – we are the only shopping centre in the world to boast a 12th-century church at its heart.." The bell bears the Latin inscription "Quamvis sum parva tamen audior ampla per arva", which means: "I may be small, nevertheless I am heard over a wide distance."